The Biological Importance Of Water Essay

Biological Importance Of Water Essay

The Biological Importance of Water Water is a liquid that is colorless, transparent and odorless. It is one of the most important biological systems and it has many unique properties that make it essential to all life. Water exists in nature in all three states of matter (solid, liquid, gas), and it also covers 75% of the earth and composes roughly 78% of our body. Most of water's unique properties are a result of the hydrogen bonds between water molecules.

Structure of Water1.Hydrogen bonds because water molecules are polar covalent molecules, it has a slight positive and slight negative charge on opposite ends. Like the positive and negative ends of a magnet, the water molecules are attracted to each other. Because of these attractive forces, water molecules are in close proximity to one another, making water very dense. In addition, as a result of the attractive forces, the oxygen and hydrogen atoms form hydrogen bonds. Since the oxygen atom has two pairs of nonbonding electrons, each oxygen in a single molecule can form H-bonds with two hydrogens. Figures on the next page show such a hydrogen bond. The resulting clusters of molecules make water cohesive. In its liquid phase, H-bonds are distorted and the network of molecules is irregular. When water freezes, the H-bonds form the water molecules into a regular lattice with more room between the molecules than in liquid water; therefore ice is less dense than liquid water.

2. Water as a solventWater is a good solvent. As a polar covalent compound, water can dissolve many substances. It is in fact called “the universal solvent”. Because polar covalent compounds have charged poles, they dissolve in water and so they are said to be hydrophilic, which means “water loving”. On the other hand, nonpolar covalent compounds do not dissolve in water, so they are hydrophobic (water...

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The Biological Importance of Water as a Solvent and as a Medium for Living Organisms

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The Biological Importance of Water as a Solvent and as a Medium for Living Organisms

Water is possibly the most important substance life as we know it, as
we need in order to survive; it also provides an environment for many
species. All cells contain a minimum of 85% of water, with most fluids
inside and outside of the cell likely to have at least 90% water. Both
transportation of molecules and chemical reactions take place in
dissolved water.

In chemical terms, the water molecule is strongly dipolar, this
property makes water a very effective solvent, particularly for
crystalline salts .So, water is the solvent of the body & it regulates
all functions, including the activity of everything it dissolves &
circulates.

When we look at a molecule of water, we know that the hydrogen
molecules carry a small positive charge and the single oxygen carries
a negative charge, because the molecules are charged, it makes water a
polar molecule. The fact that water is a polar molecule is very
important to many of its properties.

When water molecules join together, the two different charges have an
effect. Two opposite charges attract, so the negative charges of the
oxygen’s, are attracted to the positive charges of the hydrogen’s,
this causes a strong bond, known as a hydrogen bond.

Hydrogen bonds stick to each other, i.e. they are Cohesive, and this
cohesion holds the molecules together when they move, meaning that
water and dissolved substances can be moved in a cell with ease, these
dissolved substances and water are moved around organisms via these
transport systems.

Not only is water an important solvent, but it is also an essential
medium for living organisms. It is important in two ways-

· It is essential for survival

· It provides an environment for many species.

In terms of survival, water does 2 important things. It acts as a
supporter, and a heat holder. As water stays as a liquid at the
temperature and pressure that organisms live at, increasing the

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pressure will not reduce the volume of water; this means that it will
allow transport systems to pump (transfer) fluid under pressure.

Water can also absorb a large amount of heat, before a temperature
change takes place; this is known as a high specific heat capacity.
This means that because all living organisms are composed of a high
percentage of water, their cells can remain at an almost constant
temperature.

Also because of waters high specific heat capacity, it has two other
important properties.

Water has a high latent of heat of vaporization; this means that to
turn water in to a vapor, a lot of heat is needed. In order to lose
this heat mammals produce sweat, when the water in the sweat
evaporates, heat is taken away from the body in large amounts.

Water also has a high latent heat of fusion; this simply means that
water will lose a large amount of heat, before it turns into ice.

This is important as the specific heat capacity of water is very
important in order to maintain the temperature of living organisms,
including their environment.

Water also provides a vast environment for many species, as it covers
the majority of the Worlds surface, an estimated 1.4 billion cubic
kilometers. The majority of the species that live in water also use it
as a source of oxygen, for example most fish use gills to get
dissolved oxygen from the surrounding water.



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